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MEPs push for glyphosate authorisation to be reassessed

A move by MEPs to reassess the decision to approve glyphosate for use in the EU has been slammed by industry bodies.

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MEPs push for glyphosate authorisation to be reassessed

A move by MEPs to reassess the decision to approve glyphosate for use in the EU has been slammed by industry bodies.

 

The European Parliament’s Special Committee on Pesticides, which was set up in January this year to look at the EU’s authorisation processes after the glyphosate debacle, has recommended the approval be reconsidered.

 

The call comes just over twelve months after the herbicide was re-authorised for a five-year period by member states.

 

NFU deputy president Guy Smith said: “Like most farmers, I am pig-sick of the future of this crucial crop protection material being treated like a political football.

 

“The scientists on the appropriate regulatory bodies have re-authorised glyphosate for use and it is time to respect that process.”

 

Conservative agriculture spokesman in the European Parliament, Anthea McIntyre, said the latest proposal was ‘politically motivated, flew in the face of scientific evidence and would create further uncertainty for farmers’.


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“The licence was renewed after glyphosate was approved for use by both the European Food Safety Authority and the European Chemicals Agency, bodies set up and funded by the EU precisely to provide this kind of expert advice,” she added.

 

“Casting doubt on its immediate future once again makes it difficult for farmers to plan ahead and risks calling the EU’s regulatory procedures into disrepute.”

 

If the decision to approve glyphosate is re-visited after Brexit day on March 29, 2019, the UK would not be able to vote but would be bound by any new rules.

 

In 2017, the UK’s vote was key to reaching the ‘qualified majority’ needed to get re-authorisation, and it is less likely the threshold would be met post-Brexit.

Other proposals in the committee’s report for greater transparency and non-animal tests on pesticides were welcomed by Miss McIntyre, but she objected to calls for the testing and approval process to be shifted away from member states and towards EU institutions.

 

“There is absolutely nothing to suggest member states are less good at licensing products than the EU, and they are certainly more knowledgeable about local needs and conditions,” she said.

 

The report has no legal authority, but if approved by the European Parliament in January, it would inform future decision making on pesticides.

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